Nelson Peery fought the democratic double standard.

Rebel Yell 

Nelson Peery fought the democratic double standard.

THU 3/24
Nelson Peery's was the only black family in the rural Minnesota town where he grew up. The son of a postal worker, Peery rode rails as a teenage hobo during the Great Depression. And during World War II, he noticed how the democratic ideals he and his comrades were fighting for abroad didn't necessarily apply to everyone back home. "Except for the fact that he was also an African-American Communist, his book would have been published in the 1950s with other battle memoirs of that era," a Library Journal reviewer wrote of Peery's Black Fire: The Making of an American Revolutionary. After 60 years writing and speaking, he's now an elder idealist who could have explained precisely what was the matter with Kansas back when Thomas Frank was still wearing diapers in Mission Hills. Peery joins American Indian Movement leader Vernon Bellecourt, along with Charlotte O'Neal, wife of Kansas City Black Panther Party founder Pete O'Neal (she's visiting from the couple's home in Tanzania), for a discussion of American Revolutionaries in the 21st Century at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 31, in Johnson County Community College's Craig Auditorium (GEB 233; 12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park). Call 913-469-3807. --C.J. Janovy

Jokers Wild
KC tries to be really, really funny.

3/29-4/1
Montreal and Aspen, Colorado, well-known for their comedy festivals, are meccas for the amusing and the amused. Kansas City tries to catch up with its inaugural Comedy Arts Fest, which starts Tuesday at Stanford's Comedy Club (10635 Floyd in Overland Park) with a night of open-mike performances and pseudo-sitcom pilots. Wednesday's bill at Westport Coffee House (4010 Pennsylvania, $7) is packed with a stand-up seminar, short films and a show by local improv troupe Hypothetical Seven; meanwhile, at 9 p.m. Jilly's (1744 Broadway, $7) screens films and hosts an open-forum showcase. The laughs continue Thursday at the Westport Coffee House with a 4 p.m. workshop on writing comedy radio, followed by a live remote from all-comedy radio station KCKN 1340. A discussion with the filmmakers behind the zombie musical Song of the Dead leads to the movie's 7:30 p.m. screening at Tivoli Cinemas (4050 Pennsylvania), and the fest comes to a head Friday night at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, $15) with feature-length films, live performances and workshops. Call 816-309-2843. -- Christopher Sebela

Queen Ann
SOMA thinks right is wrong.

TUE 3/29
Ann Coulter
has made a career of vilifying liberals as the root of all evil, so her appearance at the Lied Center in Lawrence (1600 Stewart Drive, 785-864-2787) is either blissful ignorance or willful defiance. If the conservative author isn't aware that she is entering a bastion of liberal thought, a protest by the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics will be sure to let her know. SOMA has pooled its resources with other on-campus groups to rally a mass of contrary voices in front of the Lied Center at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, holding up signs with quotes directly from the horse's mouth. We imagine they'll be preaching to the choir. -- Sebela

Beat It

ONGOING
Liquid Buzz, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays on KRBZ 96.5, is our least favorite part of the station's weekly programming. (It comes directly after Lazlo's Hard Drive, which we like best.) But we hope to feel different after Thursdays' $2.25 pitchers at Last Call (729 New Hampshire in Lawrence), where the show's DJ, C-Vaughn, and Syde-Sho.com's Bobby Duracel spin breakbeat, trance and '80s remixes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The DJs have made it clear that this event isn't station-managed, so fear not the schwag attacks. Call 785-838-4623. -- Annie Fischer

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